Ok, so I will attempt to summarise what I have read up to now, i'm nearly at the conclusion.

Butler examines Lacan and Freud and according to their theories on sexual identity, she finds that Lacan says the female gender is a kind of melancholy, a loss and this identity starts from the prohibition of incest, from taboo.

Then she turns to Kristeva, who explains there is a difference between 'the semiotic' and the Symbolic Order, which is the 'Paternal Law' and that the maternal instinct or drives expresses itself through poetic language and is necessarily repressed in order for a woman to become a subject that is identified as that gender. So Kristeva posits a continuity between mother and child that then excludes the mother in the name of the Father as the subject enters the Symbolic Order and so the maternal drive is able to subvert this order and law. Butler, using Foucault's view of sexuality as a discourse, disputes Kristeva's 'before the law' as not being before but during the law and the maternal instincts that Kristeva says are before the neccessary repression that causes subjection from continuity, or at least we should use Foucault's critique for this claim.

She then examines Foucalt's History of Sexuality, Foucault presents medical records and a diary of a hermaprodite called 'Herculine' - thsi person commited suicide because the discourse that enforces univocal sex and binary relation gender was too oppressive and it revealed how indeed, both that which is considered maternal or paternal, masculine or feminine is both generated and controlled by the discourse of sexuality, which has a power related to it and which produces the category we know as 'sex', which then comes with all of the legal and juridicial meanings and restrictions.

Then in the part about Monique Wittig, she focuses on 'sex' as the basis for assigning gender identity, which is often reduced merely to genitalia, although Butler questions, as does Wittig, whether or not these distinctions are really neccessary, following in true form from Foucault. There are numerous other factors that may indicate gender, from hormones to germ cells, a few other biological factors that may constitute male or female that make finding what may be called 'the master gene' that produces sex quite ambigious.

Simone De Beauviour said 'One is not born a woman, one becomes a woman' which separates sex from gender and explains gender as something we aquire from the world around us through repeated performance. But Irigaray explains that woman is not 'one', she is 'multiple' and again opens up the void of signification, a kind of emptiness that has ruptures of new meanings. Wittig believes the only reason we still classify males and females the way we do, is because of reproductive sexuality and that this is an outdated binary relation that is a hang up from Christianity. Identity is not a fixed construct and changes over time.

Soput more simply, there is no need to categorise sexes outside of a specific heterosexual politics. Lesbian is not a woman - a woman only exists as a term that stabilises a binary an oppositional relation to a man. A lesbian is no longer defined in those terms and so is outside of the construction of gender.

So that being said, if we take the Nietzsche quote of 'we only see a body with actions and this doesn't inform character', which Butler swaps with gender identity - this dissolution of sex as being the starting point for categorisation becomes redundant - therefore identity, sexual identity, gender identity - does not neccessarily exist, it is contingent. Put another way, sexuality only came into being from a regulating and generative social institution that promoted a relation to heterosexuality. As a result of Butlers genealogy, she leaves behind humanist ways of talking about gender and dislodges man and woman from the center of their experience, she is describing a post-human opening that transcends the limits of identity politics and so feminism now moves into a revaluation of what human means beyond these discourses. She wants to avoid creating a new identity, as an identity comes with regulations and restrictions.

Anyway, that's all for now on these notes.